Hollywood party at Hamanoya restaurant in Little Tokyo, 1929

Besides Charlie (in center with his arm around another man), other familiar faces in the photo include King Vidor, second row, second from right, Irving Thalberg, on Charlie’s right, Harry Crocker, same row, second from left, and Georgia Hale, front row, wearing a light-colored sleeveless dress & holding an instrument. In her book, Charlie Chaplin: Intimate Close-ups, she recalled being invited by Chaplin to a party that was arranged by Toraichi Kono (far left) in the Japanese section of Los Angeles. This was her first date with Charlie.

“We went to a most unusual party It had been arranged by Kono, his Japanese valet. He had prepared a most sumptuous feast and show…all Japanese…in the Japanese part of town. Many notables of movieland were invited.”

According to Kono himself, as per Charlie Chaplin: King Of Tragedy by Gerith Von Ulm, the party was given by the Japanese businessmen of Los Angeles to show their appreciation for Chaplin’s promotion of the Kengeki (Japanese sword plays). Kono recalled that 300 guests assembled to pay their respects. The cafe was lavishly decorated with synthetic cherry blossoms. An elaborate meal was served and they were entertained by dancers recruited from local Japanese theaters.

From Charlie Chaplin: King of Tragedy by Gerith Von Ulm

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